Photography is a way for me to travel back in time. To see history through the eyes of the photographer. Everyone has there own way to tell a story, and evoking emotions.
When I frame an image I try to have everything I want inside the frame and everything I don’t want out of the frame. It’s not that I don’t agree with cropping but why not skip that step if you frame your shot properly.
A camera is a way to freeze a moment in time, the good and the bad. It’s like having a superhero power. Freezing time would be my superhero power if I had one.
My name is Michael Groissl. I’ve was brought up in upstate New York. For the people that don’t know, upstate New York is not New York City. As a child I was always outdoors doing anything from hiking, climbing trees, swimming, etc.
My first camera I had was a Polaroid IZone. It was a green instant film camera. I thought this was the coolest thing I could have gotten for Christmas that year. Years later I saw my friends taking 35mm film black and white photos and developing photos in the darkroom.
Photography is a medium that I’ve fallen in love with it. I feel that I can really express myself through this medium.
I was fascinated with the pictures they were taking and knew this was something I want to get into. So I bought my first Pentax film camera and a few rolls of film. I took a few classes to learn how to develop film and photos. I loved every about it from the smell of the darkroom to the creative and technical process of taking a photo. This was my first real introduction to photography.
My mother asked me, “What I wanted to do when I was older?” I told her, “ I wanted to move far away from the United States and live in another country.” It was always a dream of mine to experience how other people live in this world. I would always see beautiful pictures of places far away and knew I would see these places one day.
Later on, I joined the United States Navy. I was an (AD) Aviation Machinist Mate. This was my first opportunity to travel abroad. After finishing my training in the United States I was stationed with VFA-27 in Atsugi, Japan. I couldn’t have been happier to live in another country. Taking the opportunity to travel and take pictures around Japan and documenting the workplace on land and sea.
Photography is a medium that I’ve fallen in love with it. I feel that I can really express myself through this medium. I’ve tried other mediums but for me the best way to express myself through a creative way is photography.
The project I’m currently working on is a photo book called Daily Life in Northern Vietnam – The North. I choose this project because of my love towards this country and the people in it! The book is divided into three parts landscapes, cities, and people to show daily life in Northern Vietnam.
The photo book is a 30×30 soft cover, in both colour and black & white, printed on high-quality paper from Japan. The book is in both English and Vietnamese. Everything about Vietnam has inspired me to do this project.
From the beautiful, kind, and generous people, the stunning mountains and the hustle and bustle of the cities. The real question is there anything that Vietnam can’t inspire you to do?
The biggest obstacle I faced was myself. I am my own worst enemy when it comes to perfection in my photography. A lot of times a photo will be great but in my mind, it’s not good enough for my expectations.
I capture all of these photos over the last two years around the Northern regions of Vietnam. My friends from high school made me fall in love with photography. I would see all the hard work and creativity they would put into it and made me want to do the same.
Anthony Bourdain has inspired me to do a lot including my photography. I would see the passion he would put into his work and I wanted to do the same with photography.
In the next few years, I hope to see myself still travelling the world and documenting different cultures, landscapes and people through my lens. I have also started to pick up a new hobby in filming so I would like to see this myself completing more projects in filming too.
My advice I would give other artist is keep following your passion. Someone will appreciate the beauty of your creative work. The hardest part of this assignment was cutting the book down to 200 pages.
There are still so many pictures I would have liked to include. On the other hand, this gives me a good excuse to start another project with the pictures. I would like to start a project more local next about the beautiful city of Hanoi but I’ll take one project at a time for now.